Saturday, October 30, 2010

He's Here!


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Here he is! Robert Samuel, Jr. was born October 28, 2010 at 7:42 PM. He was 6 pounds and 4 ounces, and he was 19 1/2 inches long.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 12: Tuesday's Top Ten


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A good picture is worth a thousand words, and these artists take some amazing photos.


1) Erin Reynolds Photography: http://www.artfire.com/users/erinreynoldsphotography

2) B Q E: http://www.artfire.com/users/thebqe

3) Makins by JBH: http://www.artfire.com/users/makinsbyjbh

4) Gingersnapz Fine Art and Photography: http://www.artfire.com/users/gingersnapz

5) Candace Rose: http://www.artfire.com/users/candacerose

6) Molly Heyer Photos and Graphics: http://www.artfire.com/users/mollyheyer

7) Intuey's Handcrafted Treasures: http://www.artfire.com/users/intuey

8) Erin Johnson Photography: http://www.artfire.com/users/eireanneilis

9) Small Hands Photos: http://www.artfire.com/users/smallhandsphotos

10) My Mountain Studio:
http://www.artfire.com/users/mymountainstudio


Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Featured Artisan: Lisa of JYOUlry


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Today's Featured Artisan is Lisa of JYOUlry.

-- Jessica

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I am the mother of three boys. My twins are 7 and my little guy is a year and a half. I am an interior designer turned jewelry designer. jYOUlry is a uniquely designed brand of photo jewelry, it is fashionable, trendy and each piece is handcrafted with love. Our high quality ensures your gifts can be treasured for a lifetime and can be passed down through generations. Our low prices and quick delivery make jYOUlry that perfect gift for someone you love or a special treat for yourself!

1. When and why did you start crafting?

I have a necklace with a photo pendant of my two older boys on it that I bought years ago. About 2 years ago when I was pregnant with my baby, I tried to order a new one, but sadly they were no longer making them. I wasn’t able to find the pendant I had in mind anywhere, and finally I decided I would simply make it myself. And just like that, my new business was born! At first I merely wanted to replace my old pendant, and perhaps make some for family and friends, but it has grown past that and I finally realized I needed to offer my pieces online. My family and I relocated to Panama about 2.5 years ago and my Spanish is not very good to say the least, LOL. so this has also developed into a great way for me to work and speak in English :)

2. What do you enjoy most about your crafting?

The design. I started like every other photo jewelry maker out there with square and circle shapes. Although they are excellent starter pieces to my collection, I love designing the one of a kind jewelry pieces for my collection you can't find anywhere else. Unlike my competition, I am actually a jewelry designer incorporating treasured photo keepsakes into my designs. I also love that I feature unique photo accessories and gifts as well. My collection is not just for woman!

3. How did you find out about your online selling venues and why did you start selling there?

I've known about Etsy for many years and I used it to buy many of my supplies when I started the business so it just made sense to sell there as well. Artfire I discovered while also searching for supplies. I found several shops selling what i wanted on Artfire, which I had never heard about before. So I did a little research on it and found it also to be a great marketplace for my product.

4. What is the hardest thing to do for your shop? Is there anything you dislike about selling online?

I love selling online, its very easy and keeps overhead at an absolute minimum so I can continue to keep my prices low for my customers. It is hard losing a little of the one on one experience of working with a real person. However it's like have a store open 24 hours a day and that's great! Many of my customers buy in the middle of the night when the house is quiet and I love that they can shop calmly in their pj's without the stress of needing to get somewhere or the kids touching something breakable, etc... you know as mom's we've all been "there"!

5. Do you rely on your online selling venues to help pay bills or is it mainly for fun & extra spending money?

Mainly for fun and extra spending money although now I do need it to keep growing to support itself so I'm not putting more of my own money into it to keep it growing.

6. Have you tried or do you sell in offline shops? Do you enjoy that more or less than your online selling venues? Why?

I do sell offline. I have a wholesale program I offer mainly to photography studios but to some boutiques and specialty shops as well. I do enjoy the wholesale process a lot because I am dealing with the same buyers on a regular basis. I can anticipate the re-orders and which designs to be sure to have in stock.

7. Where else can you be found online?

Of course I have my Etsy (www.jYOUlry.etsy.com) and Artfire (www.jYOUlry.artfire.com) shops, I also have a mini shops on zibbet (www.zibbet.com/jYOUlry), craft is art (www.craftisart.com/jYOUlry) and my own website: www.jYOUlry.com as well as a fan page on facebook (www.facebook.com/jYOUlry)








Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 5: Tuesday's Top Ten


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I have always been a lady who loved solid wood items, especially if they were hand-carved. Today's top ten artists are all very talented woodworkers. I have my eye on a few of their items as Christmas presents. :o)

1) Mosabox: http://www.artfire.com/users/mosabox

2) Wood Designer: http://www.artfire.com/users/wooddesigner

3) Elle Z Designs: http://www.artfire.com/users/ellezdesigns

4) Grah-Toe Studios: http://www.artfire.com/users/grahtoestudio

5) Dewayne Williams: http://www.artfire.com/users/dewaynewilliams

6) The Sawduster: http://www.artfire.com/users/thesawduster

7) Simply Rustic: http://www.artfire.com/users/simplyrustic

8) Tom Roche Woodworking Designs: http://www.artfire.com/users/trochewooddesigns

9) Words in Wood: http://www.artfire.com/users/lorienmalacek

10) Etta Mae: http://www.artfire.com/users/ettamae


Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Going Beyond the Basics


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Everyone who has read this blog, visited my fanpage, or gone through my shop knows that I make and sell chainmaille jewelry. What many people don't know is that I also love to knit and crochet. Mostly crochet, but I get a hankering to knit every once in a while. I have amassed a fairly large stash of yarn over the last few years from gifts, destashes, and "inheriting" (i.e. someone who did yarncrafts passed on, or someone who wanted to learn yarncrafts gave up.) Not having a lot of room to store stuff at the present moment, I finally put my foot down and forced myself to sit in front of how-to videos that took me beyond basic crochet and knitting. (I could single crochet and I could knit and purl, but beyond that, I was just tying knots in the yarn and angering myself.)

I'm currently making a test scarf using single crochet, double crochet, treble crochet, double crochet, single crochet repeating with a line of single crochet between each line for sturdiness. It has honestly been frogged back to the beginning about nine times now. I'm waiting for my husband to start calling it the "Never-ending Scarf," but I'm learning.

I will post some pictures of my attempts soon. Some are embarrassing, so they may stay on the camera until I get ready to delete everything, but I have a few attempts that look fairly nice.

Beyond that, I've been very quiet because everyone in the house is sick right now. And with me being in my last 33 days of pregnancy and running around behind an 18-month old, I just don't have much more energy to spare. So I create and learn while I am having to sit and rest, then nap when she decides to rest. I will get back in the swing of things soon!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Featured Artisan: Terra Rodgers of Salamander Art


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Today's featured artisan is Terra Rodgers of Salamander Art. :o)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Growing up around Greenville, SC, I am rooted to the mountains there, although we live in Alabama. I've lived in India and traveled to other parts of Asia, where I've been able to collect some hard-to-find supplies.
My shop and blog are named Salamander Art because we love salamanders. There are more species of salamanders in the Carolina mountains than anywhere else in the world. They are crazy little creatures that spend part of their life in the water and part on land and are very susceptible to environmental degradation. We have spent part of our summers catching (and releasing) salamanders in streams in the Carolinas, keeping one foot in a different world like the salamanders. My Grandmother loved the native wildflowers that grew around their mountain cabin, many of which are either rare or endangered such as Lady Slippers and Trillium. Much of my love of art and native flora and fauna came from her. When I paint, I am connecting not only with the beauty of my home but with my Grandmother as well.

1. When and why did you start crafting?

I have always made things. My Grandmother was an artist. My dad sold paintings for date money in college. Mom and I made doll houses from coke boxes when I was little. I even remember doing an oil painting when I was 6 and had the chicken pox. Art and craft were never forced in my home, but it was just a natural thing we did. Like eating or walking.

2. What do you enjoy most about your crafting?

When I'm making something, be it a painting or a book, my brain goes to a different place, one that is focused and peaceful. Making things is rejuvenating. Making books offers a particular sense of satisfaction because they are neat and clean and can often be made in a day.

3 & 4. How did you find out about your online selling venues and why did you start selling there? What is the hardest thing to do for your shop? Is there anything you dislike about selling online?

Etsy and ArtFire have been around for a while. I considered starting a shop a few years ago, but with a newly adopted child it wasn't the right time. I have a friend who has been selling books online for 9 years fairly successfully. The difference is that you really have to market yourself to sell art. It's why galleries make their big 50%. When you sell online, you are the gallery and have to do the promotional work as well as the work of creating. Promoting myself does not come easy.

5. Do you rely on your online selling venues to help pay bills or is it mainly for fun & extra spending money?

Fortunately we don't rely on my art to pay our basic bills, but to create a cushion and save for college for our kids (4 and 11).

6. Have you tried or do you sell in offline shops? Do you enjoy that more or less than your online selling venues? Why?

I sold paintings in a gallery before we adopted the kids. It certainly was easier.

7. Where else can you be found online?

My blog: http://www.SalamanderArt.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/SalamanderArt/153790657988981
Artfire: http://www.artfire.com/users/salamanderart